Glomus tumors were first described in 1812 by Wood,1 who observed them clinically to be small, bluish, benign subcutaneous nodules of slow growth associated with acute intermittent, spasmodic pain and tenderness. One hundred twelve years later, Masson2 reported a microscopic description of this tumor, which was then first recognized as originating from a glomus.
The first glomus tumor case reported in the United States was described by Mason and Weil3 in 1934. Immediately afterward case reports appeared rapidly, until at present well over 300 cases have been reported.
While case reports are now by no means rare, this tumor is still regarded as an uncommon lesion by most clinicians. We feel that this condition is not so rare as is commonly supposed, but rather that many cases are misdiagnosed or overlooked because of lack of familiarity with the lesion.
The normal glomus is an end-organ